A man waits outside He's Not Here, a popular local bar off Franklin Street, on Wednesday, Aug. 12 2020. He's Not Here transitioned to a to-go bottle service during the pandemic, a service which will remain in place for the forseeable future.

All Up In Your Business: Outdoor seating is the new model for downtown

Local businesses have been forced to transition due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including popular Franklin Street bar He's Not Here. Meanwhile, new businesses, such as the New York style bagel shop Brandwein's Bagels, have opened. 

Franklin Street

Franklin Street sits at the northern edge of campus and it is the most famous stretch of pavement in Chapel Hill. Many of the businesses on Franklin Street cater to students. 

Students often rush Franklin Street after a win against Duke in basketball. Chapel Hill’s Homegrown Halloween event, which at its peak attracted nearly 32,000 college students from across the state, is held on Franklin Street.

General Script

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An empty Franklin Street on Monday, May 18, 2020. With the new petition, Franklin Street may see a return of people and life without breaking social distancing orders.

Proposal aims to accommodate social distancing, increase foot traffic on Franklin Street

The executive director for the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership proposed making temporary modifications to the area during the state's phased reopening, such as using the sidewalk for dining, transforming street lanes into pedestrian lanes and designating spots along streets for curbside pickup. A Chapel Hill resident also created a petition with over 500 signatures to transform Franklin Street's two outermost traffic lanes into a protected pedestrian lane.